Mary C. Bassett, 84, died in the early morning hours of November 23, 2018 at Westgate Manor in Bangor in the presence of her family. She was born on October 28, 1934 in Sipayik, the daughter of Edward L. and Florence (Neptune) Bassett.
She is survived by her children William "Eric" Altvater, and wife, Samra Kuseybi, Brian Altvater and wife, Denise, Mark Altvater and wife, Monica, Dana Altvater and wife, Margarita, Joseph Altvater and wife, Ferouz, and Esther Anne and partner Mark Chavaree; grandchildren Elisha Altvater, Eva Bragg, Clarissa Altvater, Nick Altvater, Brian Altvater, Jr., Eric Altvater, Holly Altvater, Mark Altvater, Thomas Altvater, Crystal Sutton, Matthew Altvater, Nicole Altvater, Samuel Altvater, Natalie Altvater, Jessica Altvater, Elizabeth Altvater, Justin Altvater, Christopher Altvater, Danica Attean, Maya Attean, Joseph Attean, and Louis Attean; 24 great-grandchildren including her special baby Danielle Altvater; and one great-great grandchild; her siblings, Pauline Gabriel, Frank Bassett and his wife, Helen, Earl Bassett and his wife, Thelma, and Elaine Wiatrak and her husband, Thomas. She was predeceased by her daughter, Paula Altvater; great-grandson Jacob Hold; and eight siblings, Louis Bassett, Victor Bassett, Edward Bassett, Jr., Danny Bassett, Hazel Dana, Matilda "Tilly" Mahar, Joan Barnes, and Lena Mitchell.
Mary's first language was Passamaquoddy, the source of the values that guided her remarkable yet humble life. She graduated from Shead High School, class of 1952 and studied English at the University of Maine in Orono. She was a talented writer of poems, screenplays and stories which she used as a way to teach Passamaquoddy history and ways of being. Mary has helped countless people by the simple yet profound act of listening with love and acceptance, many she met as a friend of Bill W for 39 years and as a member of the co-counseling community. The immense love, dedication, compassion and genuine concern Mary had not only for her family but for all the people of Sipayik was evident in the many roles she assumed in the community, including helping to create the first tribal health center, establishing support systems for those struggling with addiction, and writing for the local newspaper The Quoddy Tides. Mary was many things to many people, but above all, she was a strong, proud, unapologetic, nurturing Passamaquoddy woman who would ask of those she left behind to carry on her life's work.
Words aren't enough to adequately express appreciation to all those who cared for and visited Mary while she faced the challenges of dementia. The staff at Westgate Manor will always have a special place in the hearts of Mary's family for providing such loving care and sharing a piece of their hearts with her.
A wake will be held at the Sipayik Elderly Mealsite, Bayview Drive, Pleasant Point beginning 10:00 am Tuesday November 27, 2018 until 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018. A gathering to honor and celebrate Mary's life will follow at 1:00 pm at Beatrice Rafferty School, Pleasant Point. Please do not send flowers, but instead donate to someone in need. Mary's preference would be for everyone to spend time not money, because she believed that the most important things in life are not things but caring words and actions. Arrangements trusted to Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, Bangor and Brewer. Messages and memories may be shared with her family at kileyandfoley.com.